College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks for Tuesday’s Slate
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Bynum (Providence)
College basketball is officially back, and you know how we know? Well, just look at Monday night's results.
There were no true "marquee, must-watch matchups," but Florida State lost to Stetson, USC dropped a game to FGCU, Loyola-Chicago hit a buzzer-beater to force OT (and eventually win) vs. FDU, Belmont beat Ohio at the buzzer and Akron vs. South Dakota State was filled with drama.
But there's no time to dwell on Monday because Tuesday's slate is filled with betting value. And that's why you're here.
Three Man Weave's Jim Root has his three best bets for November 8, so let's dive in right away.
Tuesday Night's College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Rider vs. Providence
By Jim Root
The darlings of the Big East are back! After a stunning run to the conference regular season championship in 2021-22, Providence is now seeking an appropriate encore.
The Friars will have to do so with a retooled roster, though, as all five starters graduated this offseason.
Ed Cooley and his team are not without talent, however. Returning sixth man Jared Bynum might as well have been a starter. He is arguably the best point guard in the conference and a steadying backcourt presence.
Plus, Cooley raided the portal for another talented class of imports. Bryce Hopkins (Kentucky) and Noah Locke (Louisville) go from arch-rivals to teammates, and both bring serious offensive pop.
Devin Carter (South Carolina) can help fill the shoes of departed leader Al Durham.
This new roster may take time to gel, though. That’s time it may not have against Rider, a veteran-laden MAAC squad that returns four starters. The Broncs also add a few talented transfers of their own, but they should be closer to a finished product than their hosts.
From a matchup perspective, Providence’s flex-heavy offense prioritizes getting to the rim and controlling the glass. Rider can compete there. Mervin James and Ajiri Ogemuno-Johnson form a stout interior pairing, and the Broncs have depth, as well.
Coach Kevin Baggett gets 6-foot-10 center Tyrel Bladen back from a torn ACL, and Wake Forest transfer Tariq Ingraham adds yet another body.
The situation also bodes well for Rider. As a favorite of seven points or more, Ed Cooley is 32-62-1 against the spread all-time, per Bet Labs. He is 9-18 ATS in his last 27 as a double-digit favorite. Even last year’s champion went just 2-4 against the number as a sizable home favorite.
With a continuity edge against a coach that struggles to cover big numbers, Rider is an enticing wager.
Pick: Rider +13.5
South Carolina State vs. South Carolina
By Jim Root
Let me start with this: I am no huge fan of South Carolina this season. The Gamecocks are rebuilding after firing longtime boss Frank Martin, and the roster is packed with middling transfers.
Even GG Jackson, the five-star freshman recruit whose commitment brought some optimism, is just 17 years old. He’s undeniably talented, but he will have growing pains.
Fortunately, new hire Lamont Paris is a savvy coach. He led Chattanooga to a near-upset of Illinois in the NCAA tournament last year. His system is fungible based on the pieces within it, and he is willing to play faster or slower depending on the strengths of his roster.
That makes him more likely to weaponize someone like Hayden Brown, a 6-foot-5 transfer from The Citadel who possesses scoring chops but lacks conventional size.
The other aspect in the Gamecocks’ favor: they are playing South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs had a turbulent offseason, drawing significant attention for a maddeningly drawn-out coaching search. After just one year in charge, Tony Madlock took the same gig at Alabama State on April 12. The South Carolina State administration did not hire a replacement until July 13.
That three-month void set the program back significantly. There was no coach to attack the transfer portal for new talent. Uncertain of their own fate, several Bulldogs departed via that avenue, as well.
Eventually, Erik Martin took the job. He scrambled to fill the roster, and though he scooped up some respectable pieces, this remains a patchwork unit at best.
Plus, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that Travion McCray — the gem of the transfer class — is out for the season.
Another projected starter, Latavian Lawrence will miss the first semester, as well.
A difficult task looks even more daunting without that pair.
Though South Carolina is in rebuilding mode, SCSU is in far more dire straits. Martin will get his team to play hard, but the lack of talent is glaring. That effort could wane if the scoreboard gets ugly.
Montana vs. Duquesne
By Jim Root
This matchup brings a clash of two teams looking to forget the end of last season.
Montana got off to a promising start. At the end of January, the Griz were 15-6 overall and 8-2 in league play. They looked poised to contend for a Big Sky title.
The wheels fell off, though,
At Duquesne, the scene was even more gruesome. Coach Keith Dambrot had by far the worst season of his 18-year Division-I coaching career. After a win to start conference play, the Dukes were 6-7 overall. They finished 6-24, ending the campaign on a 17-game skid that included many lifeless performances.
The reasons for each team’s collapse differed, and as such, so did the approach to fix it.
Montana lost key interior piece Mack Anderson to injury in early February, but he is now healthy. Coach Travis DeCuire mostly took a “run it back” approach, knowing this core is capable of performing to the heights of a 15-6 start.
He did add a couple pieces, though, including Colorado State big man Dischon Thomas.
Duquesne, on the other hand, appeared to have major chemistry issues.
Unsurprisingly, Dambrot cleaned house. Seven of the 10 players who averaged more than 9.0 minutes per contest transferred. Dambrot brought in an entirely new backcourt, dipping into the portal and the JUCO ranks to replenish a desperately lacking unit.
Unfortunately for Duquesne, a key part of that revamped guard unit, Tevin Brewer, is still recovering from an appendectomy. The 5-foot-8 lightning bolt is an ace pick-and-roll operator, and his absence shifts the ball-handling responsibilities to others slightly less suited to them.
Both teams project to be much improved from the dark days of last February and March. However, Montana looks more ready to see that improvement immediately, while Duquesne may take time to gel while awaiting Brewer’s return.
The market has bet this down from +5.5/+6 to +4, but I believe that number still has some value.